Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Anne Martin and Katherine Hanks.
Stephanie Anne and Katherine, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Annie Hanks began in the fall of 2014 after we completed a pottery studio apprenticeship and program together. We originally met as neighbors in Chattanooga and would spend our time together rock climbing and attending weekly pottery classes. It was those pottery classes and later, the apprenticeship that solidified our friendship and recognition that we worked well together and each had qualities that complemented one another. It was clear we would work well as a team and that our individual aesthetics could effortlessly merge into one. We work collaboratively, and that is a unique quality that is rarely seen in the art-world. We explain this to individuals best by comparing the way we work to the way musicians work: vocals and instrumentals tend to compliment and enhance one another, much like the ideas, visions, and processes of our collaborative work. We do not each have “jobs” that we complete. Stephanie does not do solely the glazing and Katherine does the throwing. Instead, we each have an intimate relationship with every single part of the process and more often than not, we do each step alongside one another: form development, clay preparation, throwing, trimming, handling and altering forms, kiln loading, glaze development and glazing, and finishing the pieces. Each process is time-consuming and requires great attention to detail, which further sets our studio apart: the fact that we can work so effortlessly together in such a detail-oriented business. This is something that we take pride in. We are good friends and business partners that have found a balance and the ability to make both those relationships work as one.
Has it been a smooth road?
Most certainly not. Running a small business wherein the product you are selling requires 100 % of your attention was a huge learning curve for us both. Neither Katherine or I went to school for business, nor did we imagine that that one day we may own one of our own. Learning (and very much still learning) what works, what doesn’t, and what takes up too much of our time, are challenges we face every day. We’ve come to understand, that in a culture that has been trained to expect instant results, it is important to inform our customers on the time-consuming nature of the process. We work hard to share this process through our social media In return, we have found the customer gaining a much deeper appreciation for their piece and the nature of the ancient craft we practice.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
The collaborative nature of the way we work sets us apart. We strive to attain an aesthetic that reflects our feminine selves and the landscape around us while also striving toward continual development and change within the themes in our work. We create pieces that evoke feeling and conversation, much like the environment in which our work is created. Through our functional art, we push people to recognize the difference between our mugs versus one that can be bought for $10.99 at a box store. Creating handmade work that has traveled through the process of dust to stone, integrating thoughtfulness, creativity and laughter among two dear friends is the underlying significance that a single mug may hold… and even after that, there is still plenty of room for your coffee. Much like our desire for our functional work, we strive to create an emotional connection with our audience through our fine art. Through viewing or interacting with these pieces, our audience captures an understanding of the interplay between the fragility and raw strength of a woman, her pride, her pain, her hopefulness and her victory. Hearing about the relationship others have to our work, is when we feel the most pride in what we do. We are proud that we live in a supportive community of innovators and doers, propelling us forward and allowing us to live out our dream as potters.
- Functional work ranges between $20-$300
- Fine art starting at $500
- Address: 1810 East Main Street Suite 100 Chattanooga, TN 37404
- Website: www.anniehanksceramics.com
- Phone: 423-596-7599
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @anniehanksceramics
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anniehanksceramics/
- Twitter: n/a
- Yelp: n/a
- Other: n/a
Jaime Smialek | Our Ampersand Photography, Chandler Sowden, Carey Nershi
Flowers – Southerly Flower Farm
Food – Easy Bistro